Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Pointless Anecdotes’

We now return to regular programming.

June 06, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Language, Pointless Anecdotes, Television 1 Comment →

Regulars may have noted that we have not been posting articles daily. This is because the last week of May always tries to kill us, so we took time off from writing columns and blogging. Also our ancient Mac and slow internet connection were sucking all the joy out of going online. The allergy (to prickly heat powder) is gone, the Mac is new, and the connection is fast, so we are back.

This is how we spent our “vacation”.

1. Defrosted the fridge. Why we do not do this regularly is a mystery, since all it entails is pushing a button. Maybe because we think of it as housework and we hate housework. We only remember to defrost the refrigerator when the icebox is sealed shut. When the ice has melted after a day or so, we expect to find The Thing in the freezer.

2. Thought of writing fake family history to claim relationship to the late billionaire Edmond Safra. There’s so much unsubstantiated information online, just posting a claim gives it traction. The only thing stopping us is the sheer weirdness of Edmond Safra’s story.

3. Read The Love Object by Edna O’Brien.

4. Shopped for feline overlords. We have found a regular source of Fancy Feast, which of course we will not reveal.

Sidebar: We’ve mentioned the cat epidemic in February which killed three of our outdoor ampon. We did not mention that Meriadoc disappeared on the day the outdoor cats started falling ill, because we could not accept the possibility that he had gotten infected.


Yesterday the guard reported that Meriadoc has been turning up very late at night, wearing a collar. He has found other humans. Traitor! Deserter! Then we realized that he did the smartest thing in order to avoid the epidemic. Humans get sentimental about cats; cats are not sentimental. They survive.

5. Watched 6 seasons of The Good Wife, which we had avoided seeing because everyone told us to. The full review in our column on Friday. We enjoyed the show, but cannot rein in our indignation: What is the point of casting Matthew Goode, possessor of the most adorable overbite on the screen, and then not giving him anything to do?

According to reports he won’t be back for the 7th season as he is joining the cast of Downton Abbey. So we’ll start watching Downton again, but not the two seasons we missed since Cousin Matthew died in the Xmas special. Here’s Matthew Goode in Stoker, which we missed for some reason or other but have to look up because it’s inspired by Hitchcock’s Shadow of A Doubt, which we love. Stoker was directed by Park Chan Wook (Old Boy) and written by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break).

6. Started listening to Basic Russian audiofiles. It’s supposed to be easier to learn Russian than Hungarian. It occurred to us while pronouncing common Russian names (Boris is “Ba-REES”) that world leaders have gotten Putin wrong. If you want anything from him, you challenge him to single combat.

Adventures in near-sightedness

February 11, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Pointless Anecdotes 1 Comment →

Mat may be nearsighted. He also pretends to be afraid of heights. Sometimes we catch him prowling the tops of the shelves.

We’re myopic, so when printed signs are not near enough for us to read, our brain notes the shape of the letters and makes a guess. Today we saw a Valentine event poster that said “A Calibration of Love”. This struck us as admirably unsentimental for our gooey culture. It sounds like something our druid might say while wielding her slide rule to club stupid people unconscious. Then we realized that the text was “A Celebration of Love” haha. Nearsightedness has its advantages.

Easing back to work

June 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Health, Pointless Anecdotes, Television 6 Comments →

BBFH on Kalayaan near Rockwell, telephone (02)8957305.

Our one-week post-hospital house arrest ended yesterday! First thing we did, we went to the salon because our hair had gotten brittle, probably out of sheer boredom. Yes, that is the name of our suking parlor (Jay Lozada cuts our hair, but they do the hot oils, henna, pedicures, etc.) on Kalayaan Avenue near Backwell and Amapola, which has been around since 1939 and whose clientele includes my Jedi master (the hair that survived the dark side must be cared for).

The retro-ness of the name! Who is the “him” exactly? Who cares, they have the best chicharon, pastillas and roasted peanuts in the city. And the hairdresser confirmed that our hair has gotten thin, but it should get fat again in no time.

Our hair having been attended to, we’ve started writing again (our penmanship came back after an hour or so) and tried to reconstruct our lost time. According to the building janitress, on Monday the 26th when our brain tried to kill us, she discovered us sitting on the stairs. She says that for two hours we just sat there not answering questions, with our eyeballs white like Bran Stark warging into his direwolf.

Hodor! Our column is coming up.

In recovery; reunited with cats

June 04, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Current Events, Health, Pointless Anecdotes 20 Comments →

Mat has been holding down the fort. He hired someone to clean the house while we were away. Clever cat.

We can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve been confined in the hospital: three. Fractured skull at age eight—a formative experience requiring primitive encephalography (See Pinhead). Typhoid fever at age ten or eleven (“natipus” with very interesting hallucinations involving talking animals). There should probably have been more hospital stays, but we thought we were invincible.

Monday afternoon we decided we were over the flu so we were going to a meeting at Rockwell at 4:30. We never made it to the meeting. When we came to we were on the floor of the shower, with the water going glub glub down the drain like a basic remake of Psycho. We staggered out of the bathroom to find one of our bookshelves flung against the refrigerator. What the hell was going on?

We threw on some clothes, picked up our bag, and left the house. But we couldn’t step off the stairs. The distance from the last step to the floor suddenly seemed insurmountable, and we sat there until we could figure out how to traverse this vast distance. The security guard must’ve notice that we were stuck on the stairs, and summoned the building administrator. She came around and asked us a series of questions. We don’t recall our answers exactly, but we were making no sense whatsoever. As far as we could tell we were speaking gibberish (Hmmm maybe after a weekend of flu meds were could understand Aramaic at last.)

The next thing we know, we’re at the ER of Makati Med and everyone we know has turned up in answer to the hospital summons. Our sister appeared in a black and gold ballgown, which is not her regular attire, but it was her wedding anniversary. Next we’re having an MRI and a cat scan, and we’re so out of it no one even has to tell us to lie vewy, vewy still.

Initial tests showed that our sodium and potassium levels were way down. Hell, we thought low sodium was good and we should eat a banana like Rafa and Andy between games.

This typing is making us very, very tired. Later.

In prison with Manila Hilton

May 20, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Pointless Anecdotes No Comments →

If Manila Hilton had known her outfits would be confiscated, she would’ve ordered these online. Photo from Second Life Marketplace.

Yesterday we ran into some ex-Today staff having merienda and we got to talking about our colleagues. Like the intrepid reporter M, who served a prison sentence in Guam. It’s not what you think. We’re reposting the story, which appeared here on 17 October 2010.

Every word of it is true.

* * * * *

The following night we continued our anthropological research into the dives and bars of Guam. Our crazy friend brought us to Mac and Marti’s, where a band was playing.

During the very long sound check, we had a pretty good blue cheese burger and the execrable house red (Aged grape juice, but then we’re the idiot who ordered wine in this place). We were feeling badass for hanging out with an ex-convict. Seriously. Not too long ago our crazy friend had to spend 48 hours in jail for drunk driving, so she would start sentences with, “When I was in jail.” Like, “When I was in jail I had an epiphany.”

She was told to bring appropriate work clothes for community service; naturally she brought beaded dresses and thigh-high boots. Of course these were confiscated and for two days she had to wear the orange prison uniform. From hereon we shall call her Manila Hilton.

She remembered to bring something to read, but her book was in hardcover so that was confiscated, too. Theoretically a file could be hidden in the spine of the book and smuggled into prison, only by the time she cut through the prison bars her sentence would long be over. Knowing Manila Hilton she would probably smuggle mascara or an eyelash curler.

So her book was confiscated and Manila Hilton needed something to read, right, she’s not our friend for nothing. She went to the prison library and they lent her a book called Royal Baby On The Way. It was about a princess who visits Texas or something, falls in love and gets knocked up by a cowboy. It was atrocious, but Manila Hilton said, “When I was in jail I learned to focus.” You know, she’s going to dine out on her 48-hour incarceration for the rest of her life.

Manila Hilton not only read Royal Baby On The Way, she actually got into it, and when her 48 hours were up she was distressed because she hadn’t finished it.

“Don’t tell us. You stole a romance novel from the prison library.”

“No! When I was in prison I had time to think.” So when she got out she found a copy of Royal Baby On The Way and finished reading it.

“How was it?” we asked.

“It was the real punishment for my DUI (driving under the influence).”

Nilait ng taong-grasa (Insulted by the homeless): The sequel

August 02, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Places, Pointless Anecdotes 6 Comments →

You know how very close friends sometimes quarrel over the most trivial things? The other night we were recalling how two of our friends had had a spat over a comment one of them made about the other’s outfit. Eventually they forgot what they had quarreled about and resumed being good friends.

“An insult over fashion?” we said. “Wala yan. Naaalala niyo noong nilait ako ng taong-grasa?” (That’s nothing. Remember when we were insulted by the homeless?)


We have these funny earrings we’re very fond of, made of empty super-glue tubes. One day we wore them to lunch with Chus at a cafe near Burgos. After the lunch, we were waiting for a taxi when we were approached by a homeless person completely covered in soot and grime. She walked up to us, stared at our earrings and said, with great concern, “Ate, bakit ganyan ang hikaw mo?” (Why are your earrings like that?) Yes, our fashion accessories were dissed by a street person.

After he had finished laughing, Leo suggested that we wear the super-glue earrings to a formal function or someplace where people are really dressed-up. As luck would have it, we had a lunch appointment with Toni and Martha the following day at Terraz in the new Zuellig Building on Makati Avenue.


We have been curious about the Zuellig Building, which not only has an arresting facade but is a certified Green building. It’s their corporate headquarters so we figured the people in it would be in business attire, i.e. not likely to be wearing earrings made of empty super-glue tubes.

So we found our super-glue earrings, which we haven’t worn since we were doing rugby coverage (They were an in-joke: rugby? super-glue?).


We were having coffee and dessert when the European man at the next table approached us. “I just want to say that I like your earrings!”

The moral of the story is—Well, there is no moral in this story. File under Differences in Taste/Cultural Differences: What may seem quirky/interesting to a foreigner can look like garbage to a street person. This is also true for cinema.